So you decided to take the IELTS exam, great choice!
It's the test that was tried and trusted throughout the world.
The IELTS listening test is designed to assess your ability to understand spoken English.
The listening test is the same regardless of whether you're taking the IELTS Academic or General Training Module.
These are key details of the IELTS listening test.
The paper includes forty questions spread over four sections in thirty minutes.
The sections get more difficult as you progress through the test.
You will only hear each passage once.
It's vital you follow the instructions, for instance, if the question says write no more than three words,
any answer with four words or more is automatically marked wrong.
At the end of the listening, you have ten minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.
Write your answers carefully; spelling is important; capitalization however is not.
There are no penalties for wrong answers, so attempt all the questions even if you're not sure of the answer.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for the test.
You are given time to read the questions ahead of listening.
It's vital you analyze the questions here.
Look for key words in the question, usually the nouns or verbs, underline or circle them.
Make sure you know the type of answers needed, for instance, is it a name, a telephone number, an adjective?
Try to predict as much as you can before you listen.
Ask yourself: What is the situation? What is the topic?
Who might be speaking? What might be the answers?
Synonyms are important, there is often a word in a question and a different word with a similar meaning in the listening.
Expect tricks. The speaker may try to confuse you, for example, they may give an answer and then change their decision.
Also be wary of negatives.
Speakers might sometimes slip the word "not" into a sentence, don't choose in answer just because you hear specific words.
Considering the overall meaning carefully.
Changes in the tone of voice can indicate this, for example, 'excitement' or 'disappointment'.
Always have the next question in mind.
It's easy to miss several answers if all of your focus is on one question.
It's important to practice listening to a range of resources that might include television, films, radio, lectures or online videos.
Aim for a variety of sources of spoken english, particularly different accents.
There is no substitute for practice.
For more information on IELTS please see our other videos on speaking writing and reading.